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Locating a Job When You're Relocating

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Finding a job in your home area can be a challenge but trying to secure one that will require you to relocate can be an even more difficult if you're not sure how to go about the process. While looking for a distant job can pose a few unique obstacles, if you know where to look you will definitely have a competitive advantage.

Reasons to Relocate for a Job

Moving for work isn’t anything new. People have often had to travel in order to secure the type of job they wanted. However, there are several good reasons to choose to do so.

If you have a current employer who offers you a job at another location, that can be a great reason to relocate. Of course, there are other good reasons, too.

With the recent economic downturn, for example, job markets are changing drastically all around the United States. The construction industry is one example. While jobs are being lost in record numbers in Florida and parts of California, demand for construction workers is growing in New York and Chicago. The same is happening with a wide variety of other positions as well. As a result, many people need to relocate in order to find a position that meets their expertise.

You may also consider relocation for greater job opportunities. In small to medium size cities you may not have the ability to be as upward mobile in your career as you might desire. There may also be a greater demand for positions. By branching out to other cities, you give yourself an opportunity to find a position that fulfills your experience and skills.

Plus, many choose to relocate for purely personal reasons. You may want the adventure and excitement of changing cities. You may want to get over a failed relationship. You may just want to take some time away from a place you feel a little too comfortable in.

Regardless of the reason, you need a plan if you are going to succeed at finding a job so that you can relocate.

The Job Search Preparation

While some people may choose to make the move first and then find a job, this is a risky proposition. Even if you bring along significant savings, you could be playing dice with your future, and that is rarely advisable.

A better plan is to secure the job prior to making the move.

If you don’t have a location in mind, you may want to do some research to determine which cities are going to have the best options for your particularly career. You’ll also want to factor in the cost of living in potential new locations. Renting an apartment in the Midwest can cost 50% less than renting a smaller apartment in New York so you need to consider these issues. Also, decide how far away you want to move from your friends and family members. Do you want to move one state over? Do you want to relocate to the other side of the country? Are you open to any destination? Would you consider moving internationally? These are all important questions you need to ask before beginning your job search.

Next, make sure your resume and cover letter are in great shape. Because the resume is going to be heading for distant locales, you may want to include more information about what you did for your past employers. For example, everyone in your current city may know what Acme Industries does, but that may not be the case two states over.

In your cover letter, you do not need to explain why you want to move away from your current position. You should, however, mention that you are willing to relocate. Otherwise, the employer may assume you’re not familiar with the location or are hoping to telecommute.

Finding Available Positions for Relocation

The biggest challenge may seem to be locating those available jobs but that’s actually the easy part. Decades ago, relocating was a much bigger challenge because you would actually have to move to the city or subscribe to newspapers with classifieds to find available listings.

Today, you can simply use the Internet. You’ll find a number of websites where you can search for jobs in different fields and through a wide variety of employers. On some of these sites you can specify your job search criteria and have new job postings mailed to you on a regular basis so you don’t have to keep checking back.

If you are going to be working in a particular field, you may want to search for a site that specializes in nationwide job searches for that specific industry. You’ll have an easier time finding available jobs that interest you.

Once you find available positions, follow the instructions carefully when submitting your materials. Then sit back and wait for the phone call or email.

Scheduling the Relocation Interview

You will probably find the interview process to be more challenging if you are going to be relocating. Although some employers will understand your situation and will schedule phone interviews so you won’t have to travel, you will probably still need to make the trek to potential employers if you are serious about landing a position.

One good idea is to schedule multiple interviews in the same area during the same block of time. For example, if you have three interviews in New Orleans you might decide to take a short vacation there for a couple of days and conduct all of the interviews during that period. Most employers will be flexible with you when scheduling the interview if they are really interested in choosing you for the position.

If that is not a possibility, consider scheduling your interviews on a Monday so you can have the weekend to travel to the location and to prepare yourself without having to miss too much time from your present job. Remember it’s usually better to spend the night in the city and go into the interview fresh then to drive straight to the interview. You’ll feel better and won’t have to worry about traffic delays
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